Littletown FC

Heavy Woollen District Cup
Littletown 6 Thornhill 2
Atten: 45

View all Photos from Littletown FC

Match & Day Enjoyment: 9/10

When perusing the weekly fixtures I noticed a wonderfully named competition The Heavy Woollen District Cup. The name alone had grabbed my attention so more investigation work was required.

The Heavy Woollen District is named because of the heavyweight cloth manufactured in an area of West Yorkshire . Dewsbury,Batley,Heckmondwike and Ossett are the core of the area. The majority of mills have now either closed or have been put to another uses. 
When I started to research about Littletown FC I knew immediately that it was a venue that I had to visit.  

Surrounded by a mixture of housing and local industry Beck Lane sits in the heart of the Heavy Woollen District and in its infancy it was home to Heckmondwike Rugby Club, formed during the 1870s who turned professional and joined the breakaway Northern Union (the forerunner of today’s Rugby League). They played for three seasons, between 1896 to 1899, as a senior club at Beck Lane, before losing their senior status to Hull Kingston Rovers. The rugby section folded in 1903 and the club switched to football.

A number of clubs used Beck Lane before it was taken over by Huddersfield Town in 1933 and used as a training base and venue for reserve and youth team games. In 1957 a young Dennis Law played for Town in an FA Youth Cup-tie that attracted a crowd of over 5,000, judged on todays visit alone I still can not work out how such a crowd was squeezed inside this venue. More recently Littletown FC of the West Riding County Amateur Football League have played there. In 2001 Beck Lane staged the longest penalty shoot-out in soccer history- the tally had reached 17-17 in Littletown’s game against Storthes Hall when the game was abandoned due to the failing light.

As I pulled up outside the ground instinct told me that it would be an afternoon well spent.They were just putting the finishing touches prior to starting. Goal nets were up, corner flags distributed , match balls pumped up, bibs and cones all in their places all that was missing was a long ladder , some kind of ball retriever not disimilar to a tool an errant golfer would use for his lost golf balls in the lakes and a pair of Wellies !

The extra 'tools' were there to retrieve wayward footballs from the strong running stream literally a few yards and a ten foot drop from the touchline. It was all quite bizare as during the match , club staff spent most of time wading through the stream to retrieve their “precious jewels”. One particular time a matchball had caught the strong current so off went the chap through the water with his rod at a fair lick only to reappear a few minutes later soaked, via another gap in the fence with his “catch of the day” in hand and a big smile. It was a wonderful sight.

The focal point of the ground is the main covered stand which straddles the half way line. Very useful for when the heavens open. Hot beverages and snacks were served and all were appreciated.

The match itself was better than I had expected. The ref was busy with bookings, sendings off, penalties and eight goals, with the hosts getting six of them. The fixture was a 'derby' of sorts between two teams seperated by only a few miles but they play in different leagues. The away followers were giving the Littletown centre forward some stick after he ballooned a couple of sitters over the bar from close range , but he got the last laugh in the end as he hit the teams sixth goal. 
You see it is hard to pull the wool over the eyes of folk in the Heavy Woollen District. It is fair to say that it was a cracking afternoon's entertainment.

Ossett Town

 Saturday 11th January 2014

Northern Premier League
Division One North
Ossett Town 3  Padiham 1
Atten 151

View all Photos from Ossett Town
View Official Ossett Town Website

Ground Enjoyment 8/10
Ossett Town Staff Welcome 10/10

For those who don't know the town of Ossett sits nicely in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The town is roughly half-way between the west and east coasts of England. Ossett's convenient proximity to the M1 motorway has led the old industrial town to become more affluent in recent years, attracting both industry and resident commuters to Leeds, following on from a period of economic decline that lasted almost three decades. The town has two Semi Professional Clubs namely Town and Albion. But the oldest club is believe is Ossett Common Rovers, formed in 1910 and currently playing in the modern West Yorkshire League. But like most towns of this Heavy Woollen Area of England, Ossett eats , sleeps and breaths Rugby League.

Town moved to their new ground at Inglefield in the Town Centre in the late 50's as a result of selling a player to Swansea for the kings ransom of £1,350 and this proved a tipping point in the Clubs history. Today Town are the form team of the division with 7 wins from 8 games and are making an impressive surge towards the play off positions. The team Manager rightly getting Manager of the Month for December.

Due to its prime location in the Town centre the Supermarket Giants keep knocking at the door to purchase the land and I suppose with todays economic climate everything has it's price – lets just wait and see what happens. Inglefield is a smashing little set up and a typical northern ground and when it is full I bet it has a cracking atmosphere.

I arrived in the winter sunshine and was welcomed by an ice cold cutting wind but the welcome I received by all the Ossett Staff was very much warmer and I was pleased I had made the trip. Within minutes I was offered a coffee which was gratefully received , if anything to thaw my hands.

Match Enjoyment 7/10

The Lancashire visitors Padiham took a suprise lead but minutes later Town equalised.The first half ended with the Padiham manager losing his cool and attacking everyone within touching distance and a big fracas erupted. I think he was upset with a certain Ossett tackle on one of his players but he could of handled himself better. Maybe his players were still thinking about it early in the second half as they conceded a needless free kick which Ossett dispatched beautifullyin the goal to take the lead which they never looked like losing.They sealed the victory later for a 3-1 win and continue their surge up the table.

As the Winter chill had set in, I said my farwells to all those who welcomed me just hours earlier. I was departing happy that the right team had won.

If you are not a local then still come, because a visit here comes very highly recommended and you are assured of very enjoyable day out in Gods own County.
The Staff despite the recent visit by the local recidivists do a sterling job both on and off the field. They deserve more support from the locals, but i suppose in a Rugby League mad town that is too much to ask .... or is it ?

Thorne Colliery

Central Midlands League North
Thorne Colliery 3 
Clay Cross Town 0
League Cup
Atten 25ish
Gate £2

View all Photos from Thorne Colliery

Match Enjoyment 2/10
Possibly the poorest game i have seen in a while. Very even first half with few chances. Second half Thorne got a grip on the game with three quick goals. After that Clay offered little. The focal point of the ground is the very nice Main Stand , worth the visit alone.
An acceptable day out but far from my best this season